On February 17, 2009, full power broadcast stations will stop broadcasting in analog format and will continue broadcasting in digital only. This change, known as the DTV transition, was mandated by Congress and will provide many benefits to the public, including more spectrum for use by public safety (police, fire and emergency rescue workers). This transition will require many consumers who use analog television sets to receive free over-the-air television through either a rooftop broadcast antenna or "rabbit ears", to take action in order to continue receiving a television signal.
Consumers with an analog television who not are connected to cable or satellite will need a converter box to continue to watch television after the transition. Every household is entitled to two $40 coupons to help purchase up to two converter boxes through a program administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Coupons may be requested from www.dtv2009.gov or by calling 888-DTV-2009.